More gale-force winds forecast as Storm Eunice clean-up continues

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for wind covering most of the UK on Sunday and Monday.

19 February 2022

Strong winds of up to 70mph are set to sweep the UK in the coming days, disrupting travel, power supplies and Storm Eunice recovery efforts, forecasters have warned

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for wind covering most of the UK on Sunday and Monday, after northern England faced blizzard-like conditions on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, thousands of homes are still without power after Eunice hit parts of the UK on Friday, and insurers said clean-up costs could rise above £300 million.

At the height of the storm, the roof of the O2 Arena in London was damaged and the spire of St Thomas Church in Wells, Somerset, crashed to the ground.

Saturday brought snowy weather to parts of Yorkshire and strong winds to the south coast, with a calmer evening forecast.

But forecasters have warned Sunday could see gales of up to 70mph in some parts of England, which is the same speed recorded at Heathrow Airport on Friday when thousands watched planes struggling to land on YouTube channel Big Jet TV.

Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst urged Britons to brace for more windy weather.

Speaking on Saturday, he added: “We will see a slight easing in the wind over the evening time tonight, but it’s not long before they pick up again tomorrow to lead to another windy day across the UK.

Winter weather Feb 19th 2022
A young girl enjoys the snow in York as northern England was blasted by blizzards on Saturday afternoon (Danny Lawson/PA)

“This will have an impact on the clearing up process over the course of the day.”

A yellow warning for wind has been issued for England and Wales on Sunday from midday until 3pm, while Northern Ireland and north-west England are covered by the same warning until midnight.

Identical warnings have also been issued for Monday.

A yellow warning for rain from midnight until 6pm on Sunday is in place for Cumbria, Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

The Association of British Insurers warned previous storms similar to Eunice cost around £360 million in repairs.

A spokesperson said: “It is too early to estimate the likely insured cost of Storm Eunice, when insurers will be focusing on assessing damage and helping their customers recover.

“No two storms are the same. The last significant storms to hit the UK – Ciara and Dennis – led to insurers paying out over £360 million.”

In an update on Saturday morning, the Energy Networks Association said around 226,000 customers remained without power in the south, Wales and east, while some 1.2 million had been reconnected.

Winter weather Feb 19th 2022
Parts of northern England saw heavy snowfall on Saturday (Danny Lawson/PA)

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said on Saturday afternoon that 190,000 customers still had no electricity and restoration efforts were being impacted by continued strong winds across southern England.

He tweeted: “Storm Eustice update: 1.2 million customers have had power restored. 190k are off-supply 8,000 field staff and engineers are working day and night to restore power.

“We expect most customers to have supplies restored promptly.

“Strong winds across southern England are impacting restoration efforts.

“This morning I spoke to @SSENcommunity to ensure customers have their power restored as quickly as possible.

“I would like to thank our emergency services and engineers who are working tirelessly.”

National Rail has warned there is still “major disruption” to train services “across most of Great Britain”.

At least four people were killed amid the severe conditions in the UK and Ireland on Friday, and a gust of 122mph provisionally recorded at the Needles on the Isle of Wight would be the strongest ever in England, if verified.

A 79-year-old British man died in Ypres, Belgium, after his boat was blown into a waterway amid high winds, according to local reports.

A catamaran washed up along the seafront in Brighton
A catamaran washed up along the seafront in Brighton (Adam Davy/PA)

A woman in her 30s died after a tree fell on a car in Haringey, north London, on Friday afternoon.

In Netherton, Merseyside, a man in his 50s died after debris struck the windscreen of a vehicle he was travelling in.

A man in his 20s was killed in Alton, Hampshire, after a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter pick-up collided with a tree in Old Odiham Road.

In Co Wexford, Ireland, a council worker clearing debris was killed by a falling tree.

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